This week a video surfaced featuring Babe Ruth batting with his larger than life swing. It’s a great piece to look at if you have never seen an entire Babe Ruth at bat. It really shows how easy it was to be captivated by his approach at the plate.
More importantly, the end of the same video shows both Ruth and a certain former Yankees first baseman. That first baseman was none other than the Iron Horse, Lou Gehrig. We’ve seen video of Gehrig before, most notably his “Luckiest Man” speech on July 4th, 1939. This new video, though, does not show Gehrig as the forefront of the shot. Instead, he is seen in the background, by himself, almost laying in the dugout. Even better, the video is from June 1st, 1925 – day one of Gehrig’s streak of 2,130 consecutive games played.
Gehrig was an enigmatic player, content with playing second fiddle to Ruth and his antics. He never brought attention to himself, often being too shy to ask for a raise even though his gargantuan play proved he deserved it. There are many still pictures of Gehrig that show his character, but a video like this, even for a few seconds, lets us appreciate the man he was.
Gehrig went to Columbia University, where he became a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. Even today, he is regarded as one of the greatest Phis in the history of the fraternity that began in 1848. It is the main reason I personally became a Phi when I went to college. Nearly all charity work done through the fraternity goes towards ALS research, the disease that cost Gehrig his life.
Gehrig was a quiet man with humble upbringings. However, his stat lines are absolutely ridiculous. Those 1927 Yankees everyone talks about? Gehrig won the MVP that year with a line of .373/47/173 and an OPS of 1.240. His career 162-game line is .340/37/149 with 141 runs and 113 walks. That was his career average per season! We could only imagine what he would have done if he was healthy and was able to finish his epic career.
This video and everyone reporting on it speaks about Babe Ruth and his giant swing. If you look a little closer, you can literally see the start of one of the greatest stories in the history of baseball. The story of Gehrig. Be sure to scroll down the page to enjoy the entire body of research that comes along with this unearthed piece of baseball history.